Malta’s capital city of Valletta, located in the central-eastern part of the main island, is rich in sites to explore and cultural hot spots. The city is a favourite holiday destination for many, offering fantastic day-time attractions and activities and brilliant bars and restaurants when the sun goes down.
Steeped in history, it’s no wonder the city of Valletta has been granted status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but the city has more to offer than historic buildings and sites!
Check out our top six reasons why we love the tiny capital city of Valletta!
1) Saint John’s Co-Cathedral
A visit to Saint John’s Co-Cathedral, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, is a must. The 16th century church is one of the most magnificent Baroque churches in the world and today, attracts thousands of tourists. The spectacular church is home to angels, skeletons and other ethereal icons in marble quadrangles of the co-Cathedral floor. Visitors can also enjoy the Oratory and Museum here, attached to the church.
2) Fantastic museums
Valletta boasts an exciting array of museums to explore on your Maltese getaway. The National War Museum, located in Fort Saint Lemo in the capital city, is one of the most popular museums here. The museum offers a brilliant and fascinating collection of artefacts relating to the military history of Malta from the Bronze Age.
The National Museum of Fine Arts is another great attraction, housed in a beautiful palace which was originally a residence for the Knights of Malta. The museum is home to a vast collection of fine arts ranging from the early Renaissance to modern times.
The National Museum of Archaeology is also a must-visit, housed in the former Auberge de Provence. The attraction dates back to the 16th century and today, hosts an extensive collection of Baroque architecture and an exceptional archaeology collection dedicated to ancient Maltese artefacts. The museum is popular amongst tourists due to its fantastic Prehistoric collection in particular.
3) A grand palace
The Grandmaster’s Palace is one of Valletta’s most spectacular buildings. The impressive palace was built between the 16th and 18th centuries, standing in the centre of the town on Palace Square. The original palace was the seat of the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitalliers of St John and later, during the British colonial period, served as the Governor’s palace.
Today, it houses the Office of the President of Malta, with many parts of the building open to the public as a museum, such as the Palace State Rooms and the Palace Armoury. The grand palace is a brilliant place to visit on your Maltese break!
4) Valletta waterfront
The Valletta waterfront, also known as the Valletta Marina, is popular amongst tourists and locals as a scenic spot to watch the daily doings-on by the harbour. Located in Floriana in the south east region of Malta, the waterfront features three prominent and historic buildings; a church, the Pinto Wharf and the Forni Shopping Complex. The waterfront plays a role in Malta’s cruise liner business and is home to a great selection of bars and restaurants.
5) Manoel Theater
The Manoel Theater is one of the oldest working theatres in Europe, dating back to the 16 century. Located on Old Theatre Street, the building is widely considered as the country’s national theatre and the home of Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. A self-guided tour around the theatre is a fantastic experience on your Maltese break or if you’re lucky, a theatre performance in either Maltese or English! There’s also a great theatre museum inside the building and gift shop to help you take home a souvenir of your memories.
6) Karozzin Rides
What better way to sight-see the beautiful city of Valletta than on a horse-drawn carriage? The city’s karozzins (a Maltese traditional mode of transport) are a fun way to see the city; being pulled by one or two horses on a guided tour, learning about the city’s heritage and seeing its landmarks up close. It’s sure to be a memorable experience on your Maltese break!
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